Vol. 2, Issue 2 (2017)
Glass ceiling effect’ in professional institutions in Indian context
Author(s): Ravi Kumar Sharma, Shailendra Kumar Chaturvedi
Abstract: The modern society is characterized as highly democratic, humanistic and advanced. At the same time, the arguments regarding the equality of people with regard to social class, gender, race etc still persists. In such a situation, the position of females in society, (especially in organizations) is the most contradictive, since on one hand a lot is talked about female equality, rights and equal position and on the other hand, there is a totally different view offered by the society with regard to the position of females. It is often emphasized that with the ex – president of the country as a female, with the president of opposition party as female and with the CEOs of prominent Indian MNCs as females, India has been tremendously successful in breaking the glass ceiling, however in reality; India has to go a long way in realizing the dreams of gender equality. Over the past few decades, females have made their presence felt on the management positions of different organizations; the credit for this of course goes to the changes in the socio – economic scenario of the society, owing to globalization and liberalization of economies. But this change is not wholesome and holistic since there are still too many barriers that exist and are faced by females while climbing to the top of the organizational hierarchy. Evidences suggest that they confront an invisible barrier preventing their rise in the organizational hierarchy. The metaphor used to implicate this situation has been called as ‘The Glass Ceiling effect’ One of the most profound changes that have occurred with respect to the educational leadership is the presence of females at the decision making level. There was a time when the females were considered as ‘not fit’ and were rated secondary so far as decision making in the higher/professional educational institutes is considered, but those times are fading fast, though a lot needs to be achieved still. The glass ceiling refers to an invisible but impermeable barrier that limits the career advancement of women. During the last two decades, women have made progress but real progress has been slow with only modest increases shown at top levels. The present study is an attempt to investigate the presence of glass ceiling in the engineering/management institutes of India and what are the real factors behind this glass ceiling to exist because it is not about only employing the women workforce, it is about giving them an opportunity to lead, it is about promoting them to the top where they can put into use their natural ability to coordinate. This is what the current study focuses upon.